Phyllobates vittatus 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Anura Dendrobatidae

Scientific Name: Phyllobates vittatus
Species Authority: (Cope, 1893)
Common Name(s):
English Golfodulcean Poison Frog, Golfodulcean Poison-arrow Frog
Dendrobates tinctorius subspecies vittatus Cope, 1893
Taxonomic Source(s): Frost, D.R. 2013. Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 5.6 (9 January 2013). Electronic Database. American Museum of Natural History, New York, USA. Available at:

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2013-07-14
Assessor(s): IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group & NatureServe
Reviewer(s): Luedtke, J.
Contributor(s): Jaramillo, C., Bolaños, F., Solís, F., Chaves, G., Savage, J., Fuenmayor, Q. & Ibáñez, R.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Young, B.E. & Nowakowski , J.
Listed as Endangered because its extent of occurrence (EOO) is estimated to be 4,080 km2, its population is considered to be severely fragmented, and there is continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat in Costa Rica.

Previously published Red List assessments:
2008 Endangered (EN)
2004 Endangered (EN)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is known from the lowlands of the Golfo Dulce region of south-western Costa Rica, from 20-550 m asl (Savage 2002), and was recorded from close to the city of Dominical in the Provincia de Puntarenas of Costa Rica (Ryan 2002). It is expected to occur in parts of immediately adjacent south-western Panama. Its range, taken as a proxy for extent of occurrence (EOO), is estimated at 4,080 km2.
Countries occurrence:
Costa Rica
Lower elevation limit (metres): 20
Upper elevation limit (metres): 550
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Several subpopulations occur in Costa Rica. This species typically occurs at low densities, but is regularly recorded. It is considered extremely rare in Dominical, Costa Rica, where it was last recorded in 2002. The subpopulations on Osa Peninsula seem to be isolated from one another. The population outside of Osa Peninsula is considered to be severely fragmented (G. Chaves and A. García pers. comm. 2013).
Current Population Trend: Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This is a diurnal, terrestrial species associated with streams in primary lowland moist and wet forests. Eggs are usually deposited on leaves above the ground; the male carries hatching larvae to small pools to complete their development (Savage 2002).
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: Yes

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Adults are potentially at risk from over-collection for the pet trade.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): It is threatened by forest clearance for agricultural land and tree plantations. Water pollution caused by contamination from gold mining activities may also be a threat.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Much of the species' range is in three protected areas in Costa Rica, including Parque Nacional Corcovado. There is a need for strengthened management of these sites, and expanded protection to include other remnant forest patches in Costa Rica. Management practices that could allow a commercial, sustainable harvest of this species for the pet trade should be investigated, and a legal framework and enforcement is needed to address the illegal trade. It is listed on CITES Appendix II. Research is needed on population trends, current threats and natural history as well as monitoring of its subpopulations to assess the impact of the pet trade.

Citation: IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group & NatureServe. 2013. Phyllobates vittatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T55265A3026493. . Downloaded on 29 November 2015.
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